A regional area of Tasmania has recorded the highest usage of MDMA anywhere in Australia, and the huge spike could be due to a music festival in the region.
As the ABC reports, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) chief executive Chris Dawson says the area (which is only being named as “site 18”) returned a very high reading for MDMA, but its exact location is being kept a secret because authorities are worried it will be “demonised”.
The unusually high MDMA reading for “site 18” was revealed in the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report this week, and shows that more than double the nearest site’s amount of MDMA was found there after sewage analysis had taken place.
Mr Dawson says the result might also be the result of a “shipment” of MDMA arriving in Tasmania.
“I’ve spoken to the scientists personally about this, they’ve noticed on weekends you may have a much higher consumption of ecstasy because you might have a music festival or some other event,” he says.
“It may show in August last year when we tested for seven consecutive days, there may have been an event, there may have been a shipment come in which might have been the reason why it has presented so high as opposed to some capital city.”
It’s unclear if Mr Dawson is referring to a specific music festival, but here’s what the spike in “site 18” looks like in the report — it certainly stands out, even against capital cities:
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Last year, a study by the University Of New South Wales found that Australia’s ecstasy use is increasing, as is the purity of the ecstasy people are taking. In January, three deaths and around 20 overdoses in Melbourne were linked to a “deadly cocktail” in a “bad batch” of MDMA.
To read the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program Report in full, head to the ACIC website.